April 07, 2012

What is the name of this blog? Part 2.

My reaction to "iced zen"is...I can't quite visualize it...

...but that's what brainstorming's all about.  We are coming up, soon, on the 10th anniversary of this project.  The date will be August 29, 2013, and it seems compulsory to me that we take a day off, rent out a disused storefront performance space in the Haight or Spenard, set up a projector and an espresso machine, and read posts to ourselves and selected guests until our nurses track us down and take us back to the Home.

Eisengeiste was originally a reference to Ironminds, which, like almost all things I like, was shut down with almost unseemly haste.  An account of the original (two-minute) naming process appears in these two posts, and the subsequent disputes among the members on details of German grammar remain a matter of public record.  To further complicate matters, the word eisengeiste does appear in German books - well, ONE German book I found, which sort of undercuts the argument that it's not really German.

Other meanings have emerged after the fact.  For example, I enjoy the near-pun on eisegete, a person who projects their own views onto everything they read.  It also turns out that there are lots of Eisens to think about, like photographer Evvy Eisen, and ukiyoe-e print maker Keisai Eisen (渓斎 英泉), not to mention the bald guy who oversaw Operation Overlord.

There are more to track down:
  • There was apparently someone either acquainted with or (more likely) invented by Peter Ustinov named Natalia Lvovna von Eisengeist.
  • There is an EisenGeist kennel in Tacoma.
  • There is a comic book ghost of a steampunk robot named Eisengeist.
As we look forward to the future and treasure our 92719 ranking on Technorati, I do think it is time to reflect back on our accomplishments.  It's one thing to put up a blog on a summer's day in 2003 - but another thing entirely to stay with it as a group for a decade.  

I believe Plato had some thoughts that might be useful in this connection.  I believe that, rather than know it, because I've never read Plato and I copied and pasted the following quote from the Internet.  That said, I think the sentiment fits:
Even during the period for which any living being is said to live and retain his identity - as a man, for example, is called the same man from boyhood to old age - he does not in fact retain the same attributes, although he is called the same person: he is always becoming a new being and undergoing a process of loss and reparation, which affects his hair, his flesh, his bones, his blood and his whole body. And not only his body, but his soul as well. No man's character, habits, opinions desires pleasures pains and fears remain always the same: new ones come into existence and old ones disappear.
So then, as we approach our momentous anniversary, shall we, Pepys-like, finish our project and move on?  Or, having outlasted millions of bloggers who discovered better uses for their time, shall we stir the embers and make ready for another decade, and once more tilt at windmills, Republicans, and each other over matters of consuming importance only to people like us?


Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

I'm against changing things!

April 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Man - 50 looms and now you're all "The Old Ways are best"?

April 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger First Sea Lord said...

All very enjoyable indeed. It's become a fine record of some witty wet work, and it is still worth a larger audience reading.

But it is not read enough, and unfortunately I think the name Eisengeiste is an substantial impediment, simply because its too difficult to spell or remember. I still mistype it regularly trying to find something in Google.

When it was Isengard.Gov- that represented something both knowable and spellable - and a fine joke to boot.

Like The Other Front, I put some serious effort into some of my contributions (Rebar alone ran nearly 200 pages of material)- if its read more widely it has greater value to my career and personal satisfaction, even if very indirectly.

I'm not at all wedded to my particular suggestion, but I have to say, making it more available would be very encouraging.

We are at some natural contradiction here, because the freedom of expression the Other Front enjoys depends on anonymity. I understand and respect that; it's a big part of the energy here.

A minor redesign and a name change, to, you know, English, would go a long way to helping people to find it, and that would be encouraging for more and more involved contributions from everyone.

I can just be thankful there aren't any umlauts in the name, I suppose.

April 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...


I'm against changing things!

April 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger First Sea Lord said...

And I'm against writing for free forever with little significant exposure or hope of it. I write for pleasure, but not simply for it.

April 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

Well, if I were you, FSL, I would start your own blog, use your own name, and promote it via Facebook and Twitter (like every other blogger who wants to be read).

TOF: I would hate to not read your stuff, or know your thoughts on various topics, as I don't expect we'll ever see you on any of the usual-suspect social networking sites, and rarely in person.

I would miss it if we stopped sharing stuff here. But you guys put the most work into this thing, and you have your own needs.

April 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Viceroy De Los Osos said...

I like it as is. However, if there is a consensus to make it more widely read, I will full exert my rights to make bawdy, off-color, insensitive remarks as if it was invisible to the public. So there. Naked Pipers!

April 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Viceroy De Los Osos said...

I like it as is. However, if there is a consensus to make it more widely read, I will full exert my rights to make bawdy, off-color, insensitive remarks as if it was invisible to the public. So there. Naked Pipers!

April 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

Also: I disagree with the thesis that it will be more widely read if you change the name.

April 10, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Look, we could name it kardashiansuperfantasyfootball.blogspot.com and we're going to have, like, twelve readers. Normal people don't think most of the things we talk about - art, despair, Seahawks football (but I repeat myself) - are interesting. So I'm with the Laird on the name, at least until we can figure out who Natalia Lvovna von Eisengeist was.

But I think there is something to the idea of extracting 'greatest hits', and surely Rebar for Tootsie Rolls should be a book, or webcomic or conceptual art piece, or something.

What about a commemorative live event for the 10th anniversary? I know a great place in Beverly Hills...? Vegas? Port Angeles?

Or, we could just not change anything...

April 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Viceroy De Los Osos said...

I'm up for a get-together. What did you have in mind? My house is always open but I am at the very corner of the Nation. Maybe a more central location?

I might have to be careful about finances since our Veteran's Day bash is close thereafter but I'm still interested in the idea.

April 11, 2012 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

TOF: Yeah, we have an Eisengeiste convention every year -- just you never show up to it!

April 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Viceroy De Los Osos said...

This year-10/04/12 - 10/08/12.

April 11, 2012 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...


I'm against changing things!

April 12, 2012 at 5:12 AM  
Blogger The Other Front said...


April 12, 2012 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

All the cool kids are doin' it...

April 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Viceroy De Los Osos said...

Yeah man. Clear your calendar already. No "My dog is having surgery" or "I have to go to Spain". You can have your own bathroom and The Sea Lord will fluff your pillow.

April 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

I'll work on it but...there are wheels within wheels.

In the meantime, I suggest you use this resource for your refreshment planning...

April 12, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Viceroy De Los Osos said...

I remember making something like "Elrond's Rivendell Pudding" when the LOR cookbook came out. It was a big hit.

April 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM  

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